Back to beginnings: uncomplicated journal pages

I have been playing a little more these past few days, and managed to get a page done everyday for the past three days in my Midori traveller’s notebook, an accomplishment in recent months! Well, I say I managed to get the pages done, but it’s more like the pages got done on their own, because they took little planning on my part. Take a look at them first:

journal page

These are all very quick pages that are slapped together. I mentioned that I didn’t plan for them, because I didn’t plan through the art process and did not envision how the final page would look like. They are all “in the moment” pages, representing my thought process or what I was doing at the moment I create these pages. It’s organic, and uncomplicated, and it reminds me of the early beginnings when I started out art journaling, and my pages are just a slap-down mish-mash of things. Of course I would say that my pages now are more “sophisticated”, in the sense that I relate to the content more and it holds more meaning to me (in the past, my pages are just random things created for the sake of creating).

More about each of the pages:

20160820_172220

You’ve seen this page in the previous ponderings post. I had the quote in mind, and that photo was lying around, an extra I accidentally printed. More than just a random photo, the photo really epitomises that quote, because it was taken during my Japan trip, and I actually didn’t like one of the dishes in the photo. It was one of the few pictures I had of that meal and by lack of choice I had to choose it to put inside my travel journal. You noticed that the lettering didn’t come out exactly centred in the last line, and I added the little heart to balance it out. I use hearts a lot to embellish or fill up empty spaces because they work really well most of the time!

20160822_212735

I was playing with a new Crafter’s Workshop stencils along with some Distress inks yesterday. The plan was to try around blending the various colours and using all of the colours at least once, while trying out all the images in the stencil. At the end of it I filled up a whole A4 sheet of cardstock and was very happy, until I realised that there was one colour I didn’t touch at all. So I though I would do that in the traveller’s notebook since the A4 paper is all filled up already. Unfortunately, kraft coloured paper isn’t too kind to light colours (it was peacock feathers), and the feather imprint was barely visible on the page. So I did the old school approach of tracing the stencil image with a pen, which ending up popping the image much better. I choose orange because it’s a contrasting colour to blue. The rest of the page was just random doodlings and me writing my thoughts about the supplies I’m using. Green was chosen for no other reason than I haven’t use the markers I chose in a long time.

20160822_212958

Today I was playing with tags. I have a whole bunch of painted ones sitting in a small drawer, mostly painted from leftover paints and what not. Among them were tags that I do not like for one reason or another, either the colour or the boldness, so they have been sitting around for the longest time as I don’t feel inclined to use them. So I decided that I will try to make them nicer and grabbed some stamps and gesso. Mostly I toned down the colours with gesso, and then did some subtle stampings. It kind of worked, since it improved from the original state, but I’m still not too thrilled with the results. In a random moment while thinking of Julie’s art journal pages, I grabbed a pigment marker and doodled on the purple tag you see at the top. I’m not the best doodler, so I kind of ran out of ideas to doodle. In a serendipitous moment when I turned the doodled tag around, I realised that it actually looked really cool, and reminded me of a namecard. So I went ahead and did two more in truly a namecard style, and I really liked how it turns out! Which is pretty amazing, because I picked the tags I liked the least to doodle on, and just a simple segment of doodles transformed them into something cool looking. I believe I have now found the solution to utilising the many tags that I have stashed in my drawer!

Another thing I would like to mention common in all three pages is my handwriting. I will confess that I don’t think my handwriting is ugly, though some days are worse than others. BUT when it comes to writing with markers, I find that I generally don’t really like how they look, because that’s when I try to do some fancy joined-lettering in an attempt to make it look nice and just ending up botching up the whole thing. In these three pages, I consciously tried not to do that, though it was simply because it’s easier to write them as I would normally (I don’t have to think much), rather than me wanting to not ruin the page. If you are like me, my advice is to just go with your own handwriting! Unless of course you have mastered some sort of fancy lettering, than please ignore me.

Hope you enjoyed this look at my recent pages. It’s nice to have something to share again. 🙂

Advertisements

Ponderings: On taking photos

It’s been a while since I posted. Mostly it’s a combination of not having anything to post/not feeling inclined to post either because they aren’t that nice to be posted, or they are too personal to be posted. Still trying to work my way around the personal part, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s post will be on my thoughts on taking photos. This came about mostly because I just returned from a holiday to Japan a few weeks ago, and made me realise certain things about me taking photos. But first of all, a quasi-quote that I stumbled upon yesterday. Well maybe not yesterday, but I wrote it down in my book-of-things-I-read/heard-that-needs-to-be-written-down, and I came across it again yesterday:

“Take photos of what you love, and you’ll love the photos of what you take”

There were two ways in which this quote struck me.

Of course there is the literal meaning of the quote – that you will love the photos you take, if they are photos of things you love. In a rare moment of non-procrastination, I got started on my travel journal one week after I came back from Japan, which meant that I had to sort through my photos and look for the ones that I want to add to my travel journal. For the first time in a very long time, I could barely find any photos to include in my journal. Which is a shock, because I am usually indecisive in choosing photos, because I like so many of them (yet can’t include them all at the same time), rather than the opposite. It’s not that I didn’t like Japan, but during my travels, I was finding it difficult to really enjoy it and often I had to force myself to enjoy the things around me, rather than letting my heart wander to other places I rather be.

As I look at my photos, it occurred to me that this translated to the photos I’ve taken. I was taking photos to remember the places I’ve been to for mere documenting, not so much because I had strong emotions to the places I’ve been. It came through in the slipshod-ness in which the photos were taken too – photos taken in a rush, just snap and go, rather than focusing on getting the right composition, or checking the photos afterwards to see that you actually got a good shot. Of course it would be a exaggeration to say that I hated the all the photos I’ve taken (though there were some that came pretty darn close, made worse by the photo quality). It was just that I felt more of “oh let’s take a picture of this place just to remind myself I’ve been here” rather than “wow this place is so wonderful I have to take a picture to preserve the memory”. It was really a lesson learnt, on taking the right photos, on spending time, and to immerse in the surroundings. (Though I have to say I’m only 2 days into my travel journal, and perhaps the remaining 7 days or so might prove to be different. I hope.)

The second thing this struck has to do with my daily photo taking habits. I might have mentioned in an earlier post before (I can’t remember), but I struggle with taking daily photos. I like the idea of Project Life, the whole documenting everyday moments, but I find it hard to justify whipping out the camera daily for that purpose. In a way I find it sad that I don’t find my life interesting to be taking photos like that, compared to the people I follow who always have something to document every week, be it just a good meal or a gathering with friends. Sometimes, I even find it hard to find something to scrapbook about, because most memorable moments aren’t crystallised in photos. It’s been an ongoing problem for me so far, when I get the urges to create, but have no idea or nothing to create. Uhm what’s my point in bringing this up? I don’t think there’s a point actually, just that I wanted to bring up what I felt with regards to this. Sigh.

I’m still as passive as ever, and output is pretty much slow or non-existent. Haven’t been absorbing much too, if my backlog of YouTube videos is anything to go by. Have been doing random stuff lately too, and the photo above is just one of them, slapped together within 5 minutes or so before I need to leave for my dental appointment. Despite the short amount of time put into it, I really liked how it turned out though, likely because I really identify with the subject matter. Maybe I’ll talk more about it in a future post. I’m not sure. But it feels good to have the keyboard under my hands and hearing the clacking of keys as I type away.

Until next time.

August’s Instagram 2015

I thought I’ll do a monthly sharing review of crafting related pictures on my Instagram account since they won’t appear on the blog otherwise. So here are all the pictures for the month of August:

image
My first page in my brand new Midori Traveller’s notebook. I bought the kraft pages one because I thought it would be less see through than white and it has sewn binding rather than staples.
image
First proper sketch that I did and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Done in my morning journal, which I created as part of Amy Tangerine’s creative handbook.
image
This was a page from my smashbook, featuring my visit to the Fifty Years of Singapore Design exhibition that I talked about in a previous post.
image
A sketch of an orange in my morning journal because I feel like it. Couldn’t manage to get a right shade of orange, but I manage to get over it. Did you notice the texture of the orange slices?
image
Another morning journal sketch, featuring a tea bag. And this is also the point where I decide that I don’t like Chai.
image
My blackout poem from Amy Tangerine’s creative handbook. This exercise is inspired by Austin Kleon’s trademark blackout poems. It is actually quite therapeutic to be blacking out all the words that don’t matter. Also, I recommend anyone who does creative work to read Austin Kleon! (I read Steal like an Artist.)
image
A page spread from my Midori Traveller’s notebook. This is like a scrapbook page, but I wanted to work on something smaller scale than a 12×12 layout so I choose this instead.
image
This artwork is the prime example of what Julie Fei-Fan Balzer would call a creative opportunity – I wanted to mix green and blue with a little bit of white but ended up squeezing out a giant blob of white instead and ended up with this pretty colour that I wouldn’t get otherwise. Created on cardboard packaging, and finished up with some fussy-cut stamped flowers and hand stitching of my handwriting script. This is currently adorning a door in my craft cupboard.

Ponderings: Mood change

It’s funny how our emotions can change in a matter of minutes isn’t it? One minute I will feeling happy topped with all the inner squeals and next minute I find myself filling low and empty all over again. When people ask if I like dawn or dusk better, I like to reply dusk, because I like to end the day on a high note than to start the day on one, because there is a lot of time and opportunities after dawn for things to screw up the day.

I had intended to post this traveller’s notebook spread on Instagram, but had scrolled through my Instagram feed first. Ever since I’ve been adding people within my social circle on Instagram, I’ve found myself much more self conscious of the things I’ve posted because people I know would see them. Silly I know, but I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m completely comfortable with sharing my true self with the people I know than the strangers I don’t. 

image
A spread from my Midori Traveller's notebook. Each page are done on separate days.

The spread features heavily on watercolour scripting and I’m proud to say that I have reached the stage of liking the way I script my phrases after the down beginner’s phase where things don’t turn out the way you imagined it. I attempted a rainbow hue on the right page.. only to find out after I’ve started that I’ve begun with the wrong colour. But I made it work around the idea by following the colour wheel. Pleased to day that the colour transition improved as I scripted too so that’s definitely a new skill to add to my watercolour scripting.

Talking about crafting and colours made me spirits lift again. I find it odd how my emotions change so easily, but I’m not complaining, as long as I still have something to depend on to lift myself up again. Does crafting means more to you than just crafting too?